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Micah Rood Apples


Source: Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land

In Western Florida they will show roses to you that drop red dew, like
blood, and have been doing so these many years, for they sprang out of
the graves of women and children who had been cruelly killed by Indians.
But there is something queerer still about the Micah Rood--or
Mike--apples of Franklin, Connecticut, which are sweet, red of skin,
snowy of pulp, and have a red spot, like a blood-drop, near the core;
hence they are sometimes known as bloody-hearts. Micah Rood was a farmer
in Franklin in 1693. Though avaricious he was somewhat lazy, and was more
prone to dream of wealth than to work for it. But people whispered that
he did some hard and sharp work on the night after the peddler came to
town--the slender man with a pack filled with jewelry and
knickknacks--because on the morning after that visit the peddler was
found, beneath an apple-tree on Rood farm, with his pack rifled and his
skull split open.

Suspicion pointed at Rood, and, while nothing was proved against him, he
became gloomy, solitary, and morose, keeping his own counsels more
faithfully than ever--though he never was disposed to take counsel of
other people. If he had expected to profit by the crime he was obviously
disappointed, for he became poorer than ever, and his farm yielded less
and less. To be sure, he did little work on it. When the apples ripened
on the tree that had spread its branches above the peddler's body, the
neighbors wagged their heads and whispered the more, for in the centre of
each apple was a drop of the peddler's blood: a silent witness and
judgment, they said, and the result of a curse that the dying man had
invoked against his murderer. Micah Rood died soon after, without saying
anything that his fellow-villagers might be waiting to hear, but his tree
is still alive and its strange fruit has been grafted on hundreds of

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